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Doubling Your Payoff: Winning Pain Relief Engages Endogenous Pain Inhibition(1,2,3).

Becker S, Gandhi W, Kwan S, Ahmed AK, Schweinhardt P - eNeuro (2015)

Bottom Line: We tested this hypothesis in a psychophysical experiment in healthy human subjects, by assessing potential pain-inhibitory effects of pain relief "won" in a wheel of fortune game compared with pain relief without winning, exploiting the fact that the mere chance of winning induces a motivated state.Further, the higher participants scored on the personality trait novelty seeking, the more pain inhibition was induced.Consequently, such pain relief might be used to improve behavioral pain therapy, inducing a positive, perhaps self-amplifying feedback loop of reduced pain and improved functionality.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: Alan Edwards Centre for Research on Pain, McGill University , Montreal, Quebec H3A 0C7, Canada ; Faculty of Dentistry, McGill University , Montreal, Quebec H3A 0C7, Canada ; Department of Cognitive and Clinical Neuroscience, Central Institute of Mental Health, Medical Faculty Mannheim, Heidelberg University , 68159 Mannheim, Germany.

ABSTRACT
When in pain, pain relief is much sought after, particularly for individuals with chronic pain. In analogy to augmentation of the hedonic experience ("liking") of a reward by the motivation to obtain a reward ("wanting"), the seeking of pain relief in a motivated state might increase the experience of pain relief when obtained. We tested this hypothesis in a psychophysical experiment in healthy human subjects, by assessing potential pain-inhibitory effects of pain relief "won" in a wheel of fortune game compared with pain relief without winning, exploiting the fact that the mere chance of winning induces a motivated state. The results show pain-inhibitory effects of pain relief obtained by winning in behaviorally assessed pain perception and ratings of pain intensity. Further, the higher participants scored on the personality trait novelty seeking, the more pain inhibition was induced. These results provide evidence that pain relief, when obtained in a motivated state, engages endogenous pain-inhibitory systems beyond the pain reduction that underlies the relief in the first place. Consequently, such pain relief might be used to improve behavioral pain therapy, inducing a positive, perhaps self-amplifying feedback loop of reduced pain and improved functionality.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Time line of one test trial of the wheel of fortune game. The green line in the outcome interval indicates pain relief as the outcome of the game, the red line indicates pain increase as the outcome of the game, and the black line indicates no change as the outcome of the game. Thermal stimulation followed the same temperature time course in both the test and the control trials. Instead of playing the game by choosing a color in the button-press interval in the test trials, participants had to press a black button after which the wheel stopped at a random position with no pointer in the control trials. max., Maximum.
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Figure 1: Time line of one test trial of the wheel of fortune game. The green line in the outcome interval indicates pain relief as the outcome of the game, the red line indicates pain increase as the outcome of the game, and the black line indicates no change as the outcome of the game. Thermal stimulation followed the same temperature time course in both the test and the control trials. Instead of playing the game by choosing a color in the button-press interval in the test trials, participants had to press a black button after which the wheel stopped at a random position with no pointer in the control trials. max., Maximum.

Mentions: A wheel of fortune game, adapted from previous versions (Breiter et al., 2001; Ernst et al., 2004; Becker et al., 2013), was used to provide participants with the possibility of winning pain relief. The game comprised the following two types of trials: the test trials, in which participants played the wheel of fortune game; and the control trials, in which participants did not play the game. In both trial types, thermal stimulation started, and when the target temperature was reached, participants were instructed to memorize the temperature perceived at this moment (interval of 2 s; Fig. 1). After this memorization interval, on a computer screen participants were presented with a wheel of fortune that was divided into three sections of equal size but different color.


Doubling Your Payoff: Winning Pain Relief Engages Endogenous Pain Inhibition(1,2,3).

Becker S, Gandhi W, Kwan S, Ahmed AK, Schweinhardt P - eNeuro (2015)

Time line of one test trial of the wheel of fortune game. The green line in the outcome interval indicates pain relief as the outcome of the game, the red line indicates pain increase as the outcome of the game, and the black line indicates no change as the outcome of the game. Thermal stimulation followed the same temperature time course in both the test and the control trials. Instead of playing the game by choosing a color in the button-press interval in the test trials, participants had to press a black button after which the wheel stopped at a random position with no pointer in the control trials. max., Maximum.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4596013&req=5

Figure 1: Time line of one test trial of the wheel of fortune game. The green line in the outcome interval indicates pain relief as the outcome of the game, the red line indicates pain increase as the outcome of the game, and the black line indicates no change as the outcome of the game. Thermal stimulation followed the same temperature time course in both the test and the control trials. Instead of playing the game by choosing a color in the button-press interval in the test trials, participants had to press a black button after which the wheel stopped at a random position with no pointer in the control trials. max., Maximum.
Mentions: A wheel of fortune game, adapted from previous versions (Breiter et al., 2001; Ernst et al., 2004; Becker et al., 2013), was used to provide participants with the possibility of winning pain relief. The game comprised the following two types of trials: the test trials, in which participants played the wheel of fortune game; and the control trials, in which participants did not play the game. In both trial types, thermal stimulation started, and when the target temperature was reached, participants were instructed to memorize the temperature perceived at this moment (interval of 2 s; Fig. 1). After this memorization interval, on a computer screen participants were presented with a wheel of fortune that was divided into three sections of equal size but different color.

Bottom Line: We tested this hypothesis in a psychophysical experiment in healthy human subjects, by assessing potential pain-inhibitory effects of pain relief "won" in a wheel of fortune game compared with pain relief without winning, exploiting the fact that the mere chance of winning induces a motivated state.Further, the higher participants scored on the personality trait novelty seeking, the more pain inhibition was induced.Consequently, such pain relief might be used to improve behavioral pain therapy, inducing a positive, perhaps self-amplifying feedback loop of reduced pain and improved functionality.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: Alan Edwards Centre for Research on Pain, McGill University , Montreal, Quebec H3A 0C7, Canada ; Faculty of Dentistry, McGill University , Montreal, Quebec H3A 0C7, Canada ; Department of Cognitive and Clinical Neuroscience, Central Institute of Mental Health, Medical Faculty Mannheim, Heidelberg University , 68159 Mannheim, Germany.

ABSTRACT
When in pain, pain relief is much sought after, particularly for individuals with chronic pain. In analogy to augmentation of the hedonic experience ("liking") of a reward by the motivation to obtain a reward ("wanting"), the seeking of pain relief in a motivated state might increase the experience of pain relief when obtained. We tested this hypothesis in a psychophysical experiment in healthy human subjects, by assessing potential pain-inhibitory effects of pain relief "won" in a wheel of fortune game compared with pain relief without winning, exploiting the fact that the mere chance of winning induces a motivated state. The results show pain-inhibitory effects of pain relief obtained by winning in behaviorally assessed pain perception and ratings of pain intensity. Further, the higher participants scored on the personality trait novelty seeking, the more pain inhibition was induced. These results provide evidence that pain relief, when obtained in a motivated state, engages endogenous pain-inhibitory systems beyond the pain reduction that underlies the relief in the first place. Consequently, such pain relief might be used to improve behavioral pain therapy, inducing a positive, perhaps self-amplifying feedback loop of reduced pain and improved functionality.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus